Every Vote Counts

Last week I attended a job fair where I manned a voter registration table. This was my third time doing so and as they say, “the third time is the charm.” I registered more at this particular event than the others.

My first experience was at a local ice cream parlor where I registered a whopping two new voters. I felt bad for the new voters, because after sitting at our table for nearly six hours, we were so excited that we cheered. The young men probably wanted to slink away. One did not even venture inside for a dish of ice cream.

The second endeavor into adding new people to the voter rolls occurred in a barber shop. As the mother of three girls, I enjoyed watching fathers bringing in their boys as well as observing the interactions of the customers with each other and the people cutting their hair. I felt like an invader in a special club. We registered four men. A few candidates apparently got wind of what was happening and strolled in and had an informal Q&A session with the guys. Not surprisingly, it got a little heated at one time.

During the job fair, I was seated with three other women—one originally from Florida, another from Utah, and the third  began life in the cold northern state of Minnesota. It was fascinating learning what brought us all to South Carolina and how we all ended up registering voters that day.

A job fair attracts men and women from all walks of life. We were trained to show the homeless how to vote as well as to inform those who served jail time that they were eligible to vote as long as they were not on probation. This is not true in all states where, once convicted, their voting rights are never restored. I recently learned from my own research that there are two states—Maine and Vermont—where even inmates are permitted to vote!

I must say that almost everyone was extremely nice to us—thanking us even if they were already eligible. The only sad encounter was with a woman who had not already registered and told us she did not want to because “my vote does not count.” Even when we pointed to the Virginia election which was decided by a coin toss, she still would not sit down and register. Oh well, that was her prerogative too.

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USA or UK

Don’t worry kids. Dad and I are not leaving the country despite what I am about to say regarding the United Kingdom. But it will be really tempting if Donald Trump moves into the White House.

What did I like about London? I will mention a few, which are not in any particular order.

  • The accent. Who doesn’t love that accent! Hugh Grant, Colin Firth, Helen Mirin, Kiera Knightly, Paul McCartney, Emma Thompson, Kate Winslet.
  • The expressions. The weatherman would announce that there would be clouds “bubbling up on the coast today,” and I heard someone else say, “I had a cracking good time or a “jolly good time.” (So much better than “I had a great time!”). “Mate” rather than “friend”, and they don’t go to the bathroom. They “go to the loo.”
  • Great Indian and Thai food. I know, I know. We can get that in New York.
  • Amazing architecture. You can’t get that here. Our buildings, even our oldest, are only a few hundred years old. Dad loved seeing a very old castle near a very modern egg-shaped building.London-Modern Buildings London Skylline
  • Short election cycles. Need I say more this year? In England, it last about 38 days from start to finish, and in Ireland, the most recent election was 3 weeks. That right there is a wonderful reason to relocate..
  • The monarchy. Although our family has its own (I am the queen and Casey has always been the family princess), everyone loves the latest news about William, Kate, and the kids. Casey has always had a thing for Harry. They live in palaces and we have a white house.London-Buckingham Pallace
  • No guns. Not to get political, but I felt a lot safer walking the streets of London knowing how difficult it was to get a gun there. Sorry, but I just did.
  • The pomp and circumstance: This can be seen with the changing of the guard at Buckingham Palace and the coronation of kings and queens. We saw what I assume was some kind of practice session on a boulevard near the palace with horses and uniformed men prancing down the street. Very cool. The closest I see here is at the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier in Arlington and our presidential inauguration.London Horses
  • No tipping. Apparently they pay their wait staff a living wage so that tipping is done for extraordinary service, but is not necessary.

However, despite all these positive attributes, I don’t like the rain and cold temperatures compared with what I have here. And most importantly, my family is here. So it is in the good old USA that Dad and I will stay.